51ST SAN SEBASTIAN INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL - 9/18/2003-9/27/2003
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2003

During the last day of the festival, Kevin Costner fever seems to take hold of the city. He's in town for the festival's closing night film, "Open Range."

Open Range (Official Selection, Closing Film, non-competing) - click for link to review

We wait to get coverage of Costner arriving at his hotel.  He's almost an hour late and such a large crowd gathers outside, they begin to block the main streets.  Chambermaids hang out of windows overhead and faces are plastered against the glass at the restaurant across the street.  When Costner finally arrives with his fiance, the crowd goes wild.  He's very accommodating, waving his cowboy hat in the air and walking back and forth along the barrier several times before entering the hotel.
            Kevin Costner         Kevin Costner

Open Range press conference (Director/actor Kevin Costner, actor Robert Duvall, actor Diego Luna, producer David Valdez)
                                                    Open Range press conference

Costner is genuinely pleased with his reception at the thronged press conference.  He states that if he never made another film, he'd be very happy with "Open Range" and goes on to offer appreciation to Spain, which had the first company, Filmex, which believed enough in the project to finance it.  Costner is embarrassed when question after question is asked of him and tries to deflect some of them, noting the talent at his sides.  He graciously speaks about the 'cinematic intelligence' of Diego Luna.  A journalist asks Luna what the difference was between working on the Mexican "Nicotina" and the big, Hollywood production "Open Range."  (Costner jumps in to say the film was really an independent, made for a fraction of the typical Hollywood budget.)  Diego is very funny, saying that "Nicotina" was shot very quickly, whereas on "Open Range," they once waiting four days for the snow to melt, which would have made "Nicotina" a very short film.  Costner notes that his producer, David Valdez, was a true producer, investing his own money in their film. Costner also goes on to talk about the Western genre and the morality of his film.  He says 'there are so many examples of people behaving badly and still getting ahead...in matters of style, swing with the stream, but in matters of principle, stand like a rock.'

Robin gets another dose of Costner when he goes to cover the closing night red carpet parade, where the "Open Range" crew are preceded by the festival's award winners.
        Red Carpet Best Cinematography, Eduardo Serra and Peter Webber                                 Best Director Memories of Murder
Winner for Best Cinematography Eduardo Serra                                    Winner for Best Director Bong Joon-ho,
(with Peter Webber), Girl with the Pearl Earring                                                Memories of Murder

        Take my Eyes                                 Schussangst
Winner for Best Actor and Best Actress Luis Tosar                    The stars of Schussangst, winner for Best Film
        and Laia Marull of Take My Eyes

        Kevin Costner                             Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner attends "Open Range," the Closing Night film of the Official Selection.

Laura, meanwhile, takes in a film from the 'Made in Spain' sidebar.

My Life Without Me My Life Without Me (Made in Spain) - click link for review.

We walk through the rain to attend the big closing night bash at the Miramar Palace.  Spanish cava flows and throngs of beautiful people mix with journalists.  We see Jury president Hector Babenco, the star and director of "Schussangst" having an animated discussion and several of the cast of "In the City" before calling it a night.  Heading back after 2 a.m., throngs of people are still just arriving.

On the whole, the 2003 San Sebastian Film Festival has been good and the host city wonderful. While we had problems with some films not being available in English and were unable to get used to the midday break and midnight screenings, with the presence of 1,300 journalists at this year's event the festival obviously has no need to cater to U.S. coverage.  In fact, the San Sebastian film festival has just recently been rated as the 4th most important of the European festivals, behind Cannes, Venice and Berlin.
                                                        San Sebastian
Laura predicts that Luis Tosar is the next Spanish star poised for international break through with his amazing performances in both "The Weakness of the Bolshevik" and "Take My Eyes." Cilian Murphy is another obvious up and comer, building on his "28 Days" fame with "Girl with a Pearl Earring" and "Intermission."



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